(Indianapolis, IN) – As Director of the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC), Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Troy was a passionate champion for female entrepreneurs and small business owners. At the Indy Chamber’s annual Women in Business Retreat this week, Jackie’s legacy was honored by highlighting the success of a female founder who’s built a thriving new venture. Nicole Kearney, owner of Indianapolis-based Sip and Share Wines, is the inaugural honoree of the Jacqueline Troy Inspired Fund Award.
Jackie Troy led the CIWBC as part of the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative. She was a tireless force behind an organization that offered thousands of hours of free business coaching and classes to local business owners each year; connecting them with resources that include microloans and other forms of growth capital. After her sudden passing in 2020, the Chamber formed the Jacqueline Troy Inspired Fund to continue encouraging and empowering women-owned business across the Indy region.
As part of this effort, the Jacqueline Troy Inspired Fund Award recognizes an exceptional female entrepreneur overcoming challenges to achieve breakthrough growth. Nicole Kearney launched Sip & Share Wines in 2016 and took advantage of the Chamber’s coaching services early on.Now, five years after following her love of wine into the business world, she is the first Inspired Fund awardee.
“Jackie was one of the first people outside my circle of family and friends to really sing life into me and my business,” Kearney said in accepting the award. “Her insights and guidance helped me immensely, and it’s a bittersweet honor to accept this recognition in her memory.”
Kearney’s journey to business ownership started with a hobby – making sangria for friends and small gatherings – and a desire to share her enjoyment of wine more widely. She launched Sip & Share Wines to engage overlooked and underrepresented communities, seek out wineries owned by non-white entrepreneurs like herself to share with her customers, and expand her own winemaking repertoire.
“Nicole’s story is unique but also shares a common thread with so many business owners Jackie impacted,” noted Michael Huber, President & CEO of the Indy Chamber. “She has a special talent and the drive to find and seize a profitable place in the market – it was Jackie’s talent to help build a solid foundation and support structure to help entrepreneurs like Nicole achieve her aspirations and contribute to our economy.”
The Jacqueline Troy Inspired Award includes a zero-interest $25,000 loan, reflecting the practical counsel on capital and cash flow challenges that Jackie so often identified and helped her clients overcome, whether through traditional financing, microlending or other resources.
“This award will truly help Sip & Share Wines continue to grow and take advantage of new opportunities as we put the struggles of the past year behind us,” Kearney said. “I’m excited about the journey ahead, and I’ll always carry Jackie’s confidence and counsel with me as we move forward.”
About the Indy Chamber
The Indy Chamber empowers business to ensure all have the opportunity to succeed in the Indianapolis region by connecting, convening, and taking action to move our region forward. Through membership, economic development, entrepreneur services, and advocacy, the Indy Chamber and its nearly 2,000 businesses strive for inclusive economic growth and mobility. For more information, please visit IndyChamber.com.
About the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center
The Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC) is a cooperative program in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, under the umbrella of the Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana (BOI) and a program of the Indy Chamber; designed to promote the creation and growth of businesses by women entrepreneurs by empowering them towards successful entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit https://indychamber.com/entrepreneurship/central-indiana-womens-business-center/.
Casey Cawthon, Indy Chamber, firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-526-8722